The photograph is unclear but this is Aizawal, Mizoram. The occasion was the Sixth Sustainable Mountain Development Summit organized by the Integrated Mountain Initiative (IMI, Being one of the panel speakers, I had to choose the theme from the larger umbrella of Sustainable Mountain Urbanization. My choice was finally Solid Waste Management (SWM) in the mountain states. While there exists a fair amount of knowledge on climate change and mountain disaster/risk mitigation, the narrative on SWM, at-least from a mountain perspective, is relatively new. The push made by the Central Govt through its Swachh Bharat Missions with its focus on open defecation and implementation of MSW 2016 Rules have been of support in creating a culture of some form of discussion and on-ground action on the SWM front. Mountain cities have their own challenges. With large numbers of floating populations, their colonial backgrounds (remember many of these were hill stations developed by the British) and limited land banks, the waste problem is acute in the mountains. Disposal of garbage in valleys, open drains & rivers is another challenge. Clearly, a lot of cleanliness is needed in making our mountains cleaner. If you have experience of working in SWM space, do share!


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